|The Westshore Enforcement Bureau S.W.A.T.
(WEB) Team serves a combined population of over 325,000 residents
of the Northeast Ohio Cities of Bay Village, Fairview Park, Lakewood,
North Olmsted, Rocky River, and Westlake. The WEB SWAT team is a part
time, multi-jurisdictional unit comprised of thirty-two full time
police officers and two full time firemen/paramedics.
After many years of cooperative investigations and other police functions
the Chiefs of Police from the Northeast Ohio Cities of Bay Village, Fairview
Park, Lakewood, North Olmsted, Rocky River, and Westlake prepared, after
much research, and presented to the Mayors of the respective cities a
plan for coordination of police functions called the Westshore Enforcement
Bureau S.W.A.T. (W.E.B.) On September 23, 1970 a meeting of the Mayors
from these cities was held and a unanimous agreement was reached that
they should proceed with the W.E. B. concept and the plan was presented
to the City Councils and approved. Each city contributed funds and the
Westshore Enforcement Bureau became a reality.
The Westshore Council
of Government (C.O.G.) was created which was composed of the Mayors of
these six communities and provided the member communities with a solid
legal and statutory foundation under the requirement of "Multi-Jurisdictional."
A Board of Directors was appointed to oversee and control the efforts
of W.E.B. The Board consists of the Mayor from each member community with
the Chairmanship rotating on January 1, of each year. The respective city
where the Mayor is the Director (Chairman) of C.O.G. the Chief of Police
from the same city would be the Director (Chairman) of W.E.B.
In the late 1960's,
due to street rioting, the W.E.B. Chiefs foresaw the need to form a crowd
control unit within the Western suburbs. Arrangements were made with the
Ohio State Highway Patrol to conduct the training for all the Police Officers
from Lakewood, Bay Village, Rocky River, Fairview Park, North Olmsted,
and Westlake. This training consisted of techniques used to control crowds
and suppress riots. From the original trainees sixty men were assigned
to a Riot & Crowd Control Unit. In the spring of 1977 these sixty
men were retrained and an additional thirty men were trained to bring
the unit to a strength of ninety men. It was at this time that a disaster
plan was formulated and the unit was renamed as the W.E.B. Crowd and Disaster
During the 1970's
the taking of hostages became a problem throughout the Nation and a need
for a specialized unit to handle these situations was recognized. In May
of 1975 volunteers from the original Crowd Control Unit were formed into
the W.E.B. Task Force. These volunteers received specialized training
in hostage and barricaded criminal situations both local and at the FBI
National Academy in Quantico, Virginia. This unit has been used numerous
times to handle both hostage and barricade situations and has successfully
obtained the release of hostages and the apprehension of barricaded suspects
without using deadly force. A typical year for the Westshore Enforcement
Bureau S.W.A.T. Team involves five to ten barricaded suicidal subject
call-outs and twenty to thirty high risk warrant service activations.
of the Westshore Enforcement Bureau S.W.A.T. Team were Captain Tom Davis,
Westlake Ohio police (retired), Lt. Carl Metzger, Fairview Park Police
Department (retired), Lt. Bob Sharp, Rocky River Police Department and
Lt. Eric Schanz, Westlake Police Department.
The Westshore Enforcement Bureau S.W.A.T. Team has evolved through the
1980's and 1990's into the new millennium under the committed leadership
of the Unit Commanders and the unwavering support of the W.E.B. Chiefs
Enforcement Bureau S.W.A.T. Team is a unit of specially trained, highly
motivated police officers capable of responding to any incident where
special weapons and tactics are needed.
The resolution of high-risk police activities requires that only the most
dedicated, committed and qualified personnel be selected and trained for
any contingency. The Westshore Enforcement Bureau S.W.A.T. Team knows
and accepts the responsibility that their actions will be judged to a
greater standard of conduct because they are well disciplined, tactically
prepared professionals. The SWAT Team's proficiency in the area of physical
fitness, firearms, and high risk tactics, demonstrates a commitment to
The WEB Department
selects the best possible candidate based on the selection criteria section
of the Personnel Selection policy.
The candidate is tested in job specific
physical fitness challenge (obstacle course) and SWAT Team entry firearms
Officers assigned to the UNIT must successfully complete a twelve month
training and probationary period. During the training/probationary period
officer will attend and complete a 40 hour basic SWAT school. At any time
during the probationary period the officer, upon consensus of the leadership
of the team, may be dropped from the team without cause.
The Westshore Enforcement Bureau S.W.A.T. Team trains eight to sixteen
hours a month and additional 3 day training blocks during the first and
third quarters of each calendar year. A five day training block is conducted
every two years where WEB will act as a host agency for specialized tactical
Force on force
training and physical exertion firearms are a main focus during the training
S.W.A.T. Team members must maintain
their physical fitness and firearms proficiency as they are tested twice
a year in the obstacle course.
The Westshore Enforcement Bureau SWAT team has received advanced training
in Hostage Rescue, Slow Clearing, Immediate Action rapid Deployment, High
Risk Search Warrants and barricaded suicidal subjects from the Cleveland
Ohio Police SWAT, Columbus Ohio Police SWAT, Pittsburgh Police SWAT, Ohio
Peace Officers Training Academy, National Tactical Officers Association,
Center Mass Inc., Los Angelos County S/O SWAT, and CQB Inc. Chuck Habermehl,
to name a few.
The Westshore Enforcement Bureau S.W.A.T. Team is charged with the execution
of high risk warrants that meet an established criteria matrix under the
Threat Assessment for Warrant Service. The Threat Assessment for Warrant
service is a self totaling Excel worksheet that offers a checks and balances
system, validating the activation of the S.W.A.T. Team.
The Westshore Enforcement Bureau S.W.A.T. Team handles all barricaded
persons, hostage rescue, crowd control and all high-risk operations involving
surveillance, buy-bust, protection details, open air containment and search.
The Westshore Enforcement Bureau S.W.A.T. Team is managed by a Unit Commander
and three Assistant Unit Commanders. Six team leaders are assigned specified
areas of expertise in HRT, less than lethal, sniper/observer, high risk
warrant service, slow clearing, and immediate action/rapid response. The
Westshore Enforcement Bureau Crisis Negotiation Team has twelve full time
police officers trained by the Ohio Peace Officers Training Academy (OPOTA)
and the FBI in crisis negotiations. Three full-time firefighter/paramedics
are members of the Westshore Enforcement Bureau S.W.A.T. Team as tactical
paramedics. The Westshore Enforcement Bureau S.W.A.T. Team is augmented
in emergency medicine by team physician Dr. Otis Hastings. The Westshore
Enforcement Bureau Crisis Negotiation Team is assisted by Dr. Thomas Evans.
|A list of equipment and
weaponry utilized by the WEB SWAT team is available to any law enforcement
agency making an inquiry. Refer to the "contact us" link
on the main page. Email the Unit Commander for any inquiries.
||Two Ford F-250 Cargo vans
used for deployment or personnel.
||Fully outfitted Lenco
||Fully outfitted Remotec
Andros Robot with less than lethal options.
||Converted ambulance used
as a command post for the crisis negotiation unit.
||Converted 20' box truck
used as a tactical command.
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